Sunday, July 31, 2011

You feed them!

The needs are too many

Obama dismisses House debt plan, urges Senate compromise

"They need not go away; you give them something to eat."

Fort Hood bomb suspect held without bond

"We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish."

Larry Flynt says he's offered Casey Anthony $500,000 to pose in Hustler


"Bring them here to me."


Man made hunger in Horn of Africa

All ate and were filled

West Nile Virus reported in Indianapolis

They took up what was left over of the broken pieces


Quadriplegic Chic Kelly just wants enough money to pay for his care


Twelve baskets full


Roadside bombs kill 17 in south Afghanistan

And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

A week later, Norway mourns 76 victims of massacre

5 + 2 = 12

Applications for unemployment aid drop below 400K

The needs are too many

Rising hunger among children

YOU give them something to eat

Jesus has gone away to a solitary place to mourn the death of John.  Yet even then he is followed by those needing him.   Needing his love, his healing, his words, his presence.  You have probably been there, I know I have. 

Coming home after a long and difficult day.  Just as you change into comfortable clothes begin to think about supper or just get curled up on the couch the phone rings.  

Be honest, you think to yourself, “No.  I just can’t handle one more thing.  I am tired. I am hungry.  I need quiet time. I will just let the answering machine get it.”

Jesus may have had those thoughts, yet he looks beyond his own grief, his own need to mourn, to be alone and meets the needs of the crowd.  The needs are many.  It is a long day of healing.  Of teaching.  Of sharing.  Of loving. 

Evening is coming and the disciples are ready for the day to be over.  They are tired.  They are hungry.  The want to put their feet up.  Take a cold shower.   

They tell Jesus to send the crowd home.  The needs are too many.  The people will be back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.  It will never end.   

They just want a quiet meal with close friends. 

“Jesus send them to the store.  Let them go home and get their supper.”


“The needs are too many.  We don’t have enough.”

“Ah but you do!  5+2=12, You feed them.”

“We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.”

5 + 2 – 5000 = 12 baskets of left overs

“Bring it here, it is enough.  You feed them!”

What we have, what we are is enough.  Yet like the disciples we want to believe we do not have enough.  The needs around us are too many, too great.  What difference could we possibly make in this world full of hurt and need?  We do not have enough.

Enough time.

Enough money.

Enough… fill in the blank.

Yet Jesus tells us, it is enough.  It is enough because thanks be to God, what we have, who we are in Christ is enough.  More than enough.  Enough to give, enough to share.

In this story of the feeding of the 5000 there were five loaves and two fish.  It was enough.  We are not told there was absolutely nothing so Jesus had to do another Cana miracle.  We are not told there was too much so that the point of God’s grace is irrelevant.  No, it was enough.  What the disciples thought was too little, was more than enough to meet the needs that day.  And there were even left overs.

The grace given to us by God is always enough.  It is we who think it is not enough, that the needs around us are too great.  That we could not possibly make a difference.   

We do not have enough.  

Our church is too small.  

We don’t have a mission team.   

We don’t have fancy programs, big budgets, or a new gymnasium.

We use these things to justify our desire to stay in our safe place.  Besides, who are we to meet the many needs around us?  We say we are inadequate to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner, heal the sick.  We hide behind our lack forgetting that God gives us enough.

Enough time.

Enough money.

Enough to meet the needs around us one heart at a time.

Our willingness to move out of our safe place and meet the needs around us give us the chance to let God take what we have, what we offer, bless and use it.  As individuals and as a church. 

We are called to take who we are, what we have and offer it to God.  All of what we have.  Be it a little or be it much.  We are asked to use it meet the needs of God’s people around us. 

God doesn’t ever say no, no matter how meager the portion we give.  When it is given to meet the needs of God’s people, God will bless it, the rest is up to us.

We are called to bring the resources.  We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ.   Jesus told the disciples to feed the people.  Their not enough was more than enough.  What they had was multiplied as they gave it away.  It was enough. 

We say we cannot make a difference.  The needs are too many.  We have too little.  Someone else is doing it.  Our church is too small.

Yet we are asked, “How much do you have?” 

We respond, “We having nothing here, but….”

Jesus says, “Bring it here.  It is enough”

When we do bring it to Jesus, what we have, what we are is blessed.  And in that we discover it is enough.  Just as 5 loaves and 2 fish fed a whole slew of people, when we give what we have it will be more than enough.

What we have as individuals, what we have as a church is more than enough.  Can we offer it to God?

Will YOU give them something to eat?

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